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Hawaiian Journal of History, Volume 47 (2013)

LYDIA K. AHOLO - Her Story


Recovering the Lost Voice

 

Sometimes we don't choose the story; the story chooses us. The discovery of the taped oral history of Lydia Kaʻōnohiponiponiokalani Aholo (1878-1979), only hānai daughter and namesake of the last queen of Hawaiʻi, is a story of twists and turns. It's a story Dr. Sandra Bonura didn't envision when she agreed to read a stack of love letters found in a steamer trunk, tucked away in an attic, forgotten for over a century.

 

This manuscript highlights how native girls like Lydia Aholo were caught between allegiance to their queen and the foreign teachers offering a strange new world.